Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Community Building Tip: Basic Needs

This is a continuation of the Survival Needs post.


Sanitation -- How clean is your city? Here are tips on minimizing litter and pollution.

How well does your community enable people to keep clean? Are there cheap or free places to take a shower and do laundry, other than renting a whole residence? People need those when theirs is broken and needs repair. Find public showers near you. Laundry Love is a free laundry charity with many locations. Learn how to start a laundry business. Terramagne-America provides plenty of resources for keeping people and places clean. L-America does much less, then whines that people and places are dirty.

How good is your city's garbage pickup? Do rural folks have access? Here are some strategies for rural collection. Is there recycling service in your area? Search for recycling centers by zip code. Learn how to start a recycling program. Do you have community composting, a lot where yard waste is turned into mulch, etc. in your town? Enjoy a guide to community composting.

Does your area have vermin problems? Urban vermin pose health threats. Learn how to identify and fight them.

Education -- How good are the schools in your area? Find alternative school options near you.

Are there free classes in your area? Find free classes online. Look for free fitness classes in your area. Takeaclass offers local and online options for all ages. Learn how to teach a course.

Does your community have Little Free Libraries or other book exchanges? Little Free Libraries are wonderful things, but local America seems to hate them. Read about them and build your own. In T-America, people often stock these with books by local authors or about local topics. In Bluehill, you'll see things like Missouri history and Ozark wildlife.

BookCrossing is another option. Join the fun or become a BookCrossing zone. Anyone can release books on constructive topics for more people to enjoy. This is a great way for authors to promote themselves, or fans to promote favorite authors.

Health care -- How accessible is health care in your area? Here are some ways that hospitals can expand access to health care. Does your community offer free or cheap health care? Find resources and clinics.

Do you live in a health care desert? Learn how to start a mobile health clinic. Are there community health centers nearby? Community clinics offer many benefits.

Internet -- How good is connectivity in your area? L-America has patchy and costly service. Read about states with best and worst coverage. Find a provider near you. Learn how to start your own Internet Service Provider. Promote broadband in your community. Be aware that much of L-America bans municipal broadband. Facilitate broadband development instead. As internet becomes essential for participation in society and access to survival and basic needs, it must be treated as a utility and guaranteed to everyone.

Communication -- What other kinds of communication does your community offer? It is vitally important for people to have access to hardcopy, landline, and facetime communication because the internet isn't always available. Find landline or cell phone service in your area. Find newspapers around the world. If you don't have any near you, then you can start a newspaper. Community bulletin boards help people catch events and find goods or services. Here are some places to look for them. Learn how to make a bulletin board. You can put a community bulletin board anywhere people can access it. Stores, libraries, parks, waiting rooms, community centers, and other public facilities are are all good.

Transportation -- People need transportation in order to access survival and basic needs. See previous posts on walkability, bikeability, and public transportation. Take extra care to ensure that everyone, including vulnerable populations such as the poor, elderly, and disabled -- can comfortably get everywhere they need to go.

Does your area support electric cars? See a map of charging stations. Ideally, every fuel station and rest stop should offer a place to recharge. If you run a business, and you offer your customers the only charger in the immediate area, you will attract more people. Learn how to buy a charger for home or start a public station.

Productivity -- How high is employment in your area? (Real numbers, not government-fudged numbers.) Unemployment causes depression and other problems. Retirement can too. A healthy individual and community should be productive and relatively self-sufficient, rather than dependent upon others for most or all of their survival needs. Effective programs should maximize development toward this condition, not trap people in a cycle of need by either punishing them for improving their lives or actively banning them from doing so.

What does your community do to help people find work? These websites help people find jobs. You can learn lucrative job skills online. Know how to teach job skills too. Is there a day worker center near you? If not, you can start one.

Does your area offer any natural opportunities for labor?  Those are places where people can go to obtain useful resources.  Examples include a coppiced forest where anyone can cut branches for crafts, a community garden for growing food, a farm that lets people glean leftover produce after mechanical picking is done, and a municipal lot where you can shovel up free mulch.  Closely related are places where anyone can show up to do work and earn money.  Some cities pay for litter pickup by the bucket, and many recycling centers pay by weight for cans or bottles.  Sometimes a U-pick farm will let people pick produce, then buy it from them at half the retail price for people who want to keep theirs.  In particular, communities should watch for unused land such as vacant lots or awkward-sized snippets and put them into use as community gardens, woodlots, pocket parks, or other purposes.

What volunteer opportunities does your community offer? Volunteering has many benefits. Look for community service opportunities in your area. These organizations usually need volunteers. Search online for possibilities. Follow the steps to volunteer. Learn how to attract volunteers to your organization.

Which hobbies are popular in your community? Which of them are cheap or free? This varies tremendously by locale. Mountainous areas may favor skiiing while coastal areas prefer surfing or fishing. Ideally everyone should have at least one hobby, and some people have several. Find a hobby by interest and personality. Here are more ways to find a hobby. Know how to get started.

How does your community support disabled people in these activities? This list sorts jobs suited for different disabilities. For instance, most mobility issues don't affect a desk job, whereas social disabilities don't affect a job that deals with things instead of people. Browse a list of disabilities and accommodations. Many of these also work in volunteer or leisure activities.

People with disabilities can give as well as receive help. Here are some general ideas and volunteer ideas for developmental disabilities. Also check the above job list for inspiration.

People with limitations can enjoy many hobbies. Explore hobbies modified for arthritis (or other dexterity issues), what blind people do for fun, hobbies for impaired hearing, deaf-blind hobbies, activities for wheelchair users, adaptive hobbies outdoors, and homebound activities. Here are some steps for disabled people seeking hobbies. This guide explains how to make summer camp hobbies inclusive. There are ways to teach art to people with disabilities.

Does your community center or other hobby spot stock adaptive equipment for inclusive activities? If not, add some. Dining aids are great if you will be using paint, small items like beads, or other materials that need to be contained or transferred. Utensils, grippers, and handles can be used for many crafts such as making a paintbrush handle thicker. Kitchen aids include lots of ways to hold, pin, cut, or manipulate things. Clothing aids include reachers, hooks, and other tools for moving things around. Reading, writing, and communicating aids make it easier to see and touch things. Adapted sports equipment, card games, and board games help too. Read earlier posts on "Games for Blind People or Blackouts" and "Inclusive Games from Terramagne." Be creative! Many of these also suit job or volunteer tasks.

Does your community have inclusive playgrounds? If not, agitate for adding some. These companies make inclusive playground equipment. Bear in mind that if you try to make everything accessible to everyone, it may not provide enough challenge for more active sensory-seekers. Provide a mix of challenge levels of stimulate different ages and abilities, aiming to provide things that all players can enjoy. Offer areas for quieter and wilder types of play. Find inclusive playgrounds around the world.

Do you have intentional neighboring in your area? This includes everyone in a network of social ties, giving, and receiving so nobody has to feel useless or used. Find ways to be intentional in your neighborhood.
Tags: a little slice of terramagne, how to, recurring posts
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